Marine Science Field Research Internship in South Africa

A comprehensive crash-course in Marine Science and Conservation

Investigate a career in marine science whilst gaining an expansive understanding of conservation through citizen science. This immersive educational program is designed to equip you with knowledge of an arsenal of research methods whilst providing hands-on experience in conservation and community outreach.

During this program you’ll work alongside a team of passionate marine scientists as you study and observe marine environments in order to develop and implement more effective means of their conservation. You’ll develop in-depth knowledge of marine ecology, biodiversity, species identification, data collection methods, and scientific research techniques. As well as this, you’ll be involved with a range of citizen science programs working to engage local communities in ocean conservation and bridging the gap between science and the public.

This program has a heavy focus on field work providing you with not only theoretical understanding but practical experience in real-world underwater research methods. You’ll regularly embark on underwater research dives collecting data on marine species and habitats to contribute to ongoing research projects. This will endow you with a comprehensive understanding of specialized marine research techniques and equipment such as underwater cameras, transect tapes, quadrats, and conducting underwater surveys and accurate data collection.


This organization is a marine research center based in the idyllic Simon’s town situated along False Bay, South Africa. At the meeting point of two major ocean currents from the west and east, the Benguela and Agulhas currents, this well-known hotspot for biodiversity is a significant site for marine science research boasting a variety of shark, cetacean, seal and fish species. The organization runs a range of research programs aimed to better understand marine environments, then develop and promote more effective methods of their conservation.

This organization has a special focus on citizen science, utilizing public engagement as a means of mass data collection whilst widening outreach for conservation awareness. They also actively collaborate with local initiatives, NGOs, and government agencies in a range of research programs and conservation projects. On top of this, they are committed to training early-career scientists in marine research methods so as to empower the next generation of ocean conservationists.


This program is designed to provide interns with a well-rounded understanding of marine research and conservation. Your first week is devoted to dive training and lectures introducing research methods. From then on, congruent with regular underwater research dives, you’ll spend time analyzing data collected from surveys, deploying and maintaining research equipment, and facilitating citizen science programs. You’ll need to be physically fit, familiar with scientific research and communication, and hungry to learn how to better protect our oceans.

What you’ll do
  • Conduct regular underwater research dives
  • Monitor populations of marine species and biodiversity of habitats
  • Deploy and maintain marine research equipment such as underwater cameras, transect tapes, quadrats
  • Analyze data gathered from underwater surveys
  • Assisting with dives and instructing participants in citizen science programs
  • Write up reports on findings
  • Create content for blogs, social media, and other online channels
  • There’s also the option to continue on for another 1-2 months as a Marine Research Assistant Internship for those interested

Training and lectures during the internship:

  • An introduction to the area, substrates, fish and invertebrate species, and the systems and processes that create the unique biodiversity found in the Cape Peninsula
  • Project background and research methods used
  • Scientific diving
  • Biodiversity
  • Use of R
  • Baited remote underwater video (BRUV)
  • Additional skills like GIS and Freediving
  • No experience or qualifications required, but you need to have an interest in Marine Sciences, Oceanography or related subjects OR Dive Professionals (Dive Master, Dive Instructor).
  • Minimum Open Water certification (PADI, NAUI, SSI, BSAC, etc.). If you need to get your certification, please contact us for additional information about a diving course.
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • An analytical mind and close attention to detail
  • Willingness and ability to interact with and instruct citizen science participants


You’ll be situated in the quaint town of Simon’s Town in False Bay, South Africa. This small suburb on the outskirts of the greater Cape town area is nestled in a stunningly beautiful area boasting exquisite beaches, incredible marine life, and mountainous surroundings. Based on a peninsula that splits the Atlantic and Indian ocean the area sees a spectacularly diverse range of marine life with a multitude of shark, cetacean, seal and fish species, as well as kelp forests and natural reef systems. Here you’ll find an exciting array of marine environments to explore and study during your internship.

Accommodation is arranged on a case-by-case basis with interns staying in local rental properties within walking distance from the research center. At the center, you’ll have access to study spaces, diving equipment, and a well-stocked bar. In your downtime you can enjoy a choice of delightful restaurants and bars in the area, embark on hikes around the attractive surroundings, or make the short trip to one of the most thrilling cities in the world, Cape Town.


The program starts every first Monday of the month between February and November. So this internship is NOT in December and January.

What you’ll pay (2023 rates)

4 Weeks USD 4,000

What you are paying for:
  • Careful matchmaking. It takes time to find the right internship for each person, and we take this process very seriously.
  • Initial interview with one of our team to gauge your skills, interests, and desired learning outcomes.
  • Transfer from Cape Town International airport to your accommodation and back on arrival and departure day
  • Shared accommodation in Simon’s Town
  • Transport between your accommodation and the headquarters
  • Diving and equipment rental
  • Supervision and support during your internship
  • Regular check-ins and feedback from your supervisor
  • Marine protected area permits
  • Access to workshops with a focus on career development
  • Assistance with your visa arrangement & other preparations
  • Troubleshooting if needed
  • A reference letter at the end of your internship
  • Flights to Cape Town
  • Visa and medical/travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for scuba diving and repatriation
  • Meals, drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
  • Costs for additional excursions or activities
Simon’s Town, South Africa
Marine Conservation NGO
Research dives, Data collection, Mapping, Reporting
4 Weeks
USD 4,000
  • Gain international work experience in a marine conservation context
  • Develop theoretical and practical understanding of marine science research
  • Build an expansive understanding of marine conservation and citizen science
  • Work alongside a team of passionate, experienced marine scientists
  • Live and work in in the greater Cape Town area
1 MONTH USD 4,000

See Detailed Rates



If you’re ready to apply for this internship, here’s what to do:


Fill in the application form (it will show in a new screen) which includes sharing your CV to us


We’ll set up a call with you to go through your application.


If we feel it’s a good match, we’ll set up a call between you and the supervisor for this internship.


If everyone’s happy, we’ll provisionally confirm your placement! We’ll then send you the invoice for the deposit, getting started with the booking process and all the info you need.


Only once we receive payment of the deposit your placement will be confirmed.


Or if you’d just like to ask us some questions about this internship first, just fill in the contact form below. We’ll be happy to assist!


Marine Science field research internship

Open for applications

Marine Science Field Research Internship

  • 4 Weeks
  • Simon's Town, South Africa
  • Research dives, Data collection, Mapping, Reporting

A comprehensive crash-course in Marine Science and Conservation

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Marine conservation program

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